Introduction: The Fowler Sock Cap

About: Electrical engineer currently working in semiconductor failure analysis.

Fans of outdoors reality TV may recognize the name Zachary Fowler. Fowler was the winner of Alone season 3. He currently runs a youtube channel to showcase his bushcraft and survival activities. If you are a fan of making, crafting and outdoorsy stuff, be sure to check out his channel Fowler's Makery and Mischief.

As a knitter, I immediately noticed the orange beanie that Fowler often wears in his videos. The hat design is decorative yet still timeless and rugged. It looks to be easy to knit and I want one.

Of course, I could easily buy one of these hats from Fowler's himself. He sells them at a reasonable price on his website, but in the maker spirit, I prefer to make my own inspired by his design.

Sock hats are one of my favorite knitting projects for several reasons because...

...1. They're fast. This hat can be completed within a few hours

...2. They're cheap. You only need a little bit of yarn. Sock hats are a great way to use up small leftovers in your yarn stash, or you can splurge for a nice boutique yarn.

...3. They're easy. Sock hats are stretchy. They do not have to be a perfect fit, so gauging is not too critical



This as an easy project that is suitable for a beginner that has already completed a few simple projects. This project is worked in-the-round. It includes cable stitches and basic decreases.

Here are the stitches used in this pattern:

Needles and notions:

  • Double pointed needles (DPN) - I used size US3/3.25mm for the brim and then I increased to size US6/4mm for the main hat body.
  • Cable needle
  • A tapestry needle is needed to weave in the loose yarn end


  • I am using a medium weight yard from a big box store, but any medium/worsted weight yard work. Super Saver yarns work great too.
  • The hats I have made only use 60 grams of yarn (95m), so this is a great project to clear out your scrap collection.
  • I recommend to avoid variegated color yarns. Color changes will hide the cabling pattern

Step 1: The Design

Using google image search, I quickly found several photos of Fowler wearing his iconic hat.

Fowler's hat has a short brim (just 4 or 5 rows). The main hat body appears to be made of about 6 panels. Each panel is separated by a single column of knit stitches. The panel is a cable centered within a field of purl stitches. The cable stitches are wrapped right over left. I can see an apparent seam along one panel edge. This indicates that the hat was most likely knitted flat and then stitched closed.

I don't want to exactly copy Fowler's design. There are a few improvement that I will make on my own hat.

  • I will knit in-the-round to elimate any seam.
  • All the cables on Fowler's hat twist in the same direction. On my hat, I will twist half the cables left-over-right and half right-over-left. This simple change will make the hat more interesting to look at and will make the project more fun to knit.

Step 2: The Brim

This pattern is worked from the brim up to the crown. I recommend to use a smaller needle for the brim to give the best fit. I am using US3/3.25mm needles. I used a basic long-tail cast on, but any stretchy cast-on will work here.

Enough talk. Let's start knitting!

  • CO 104. Cast on 104 stitches onto double pointed needles and join in the round
  • Round 1 - 6: *K1 P3 K6 P3*, repeat until end of row

The brim is done.

Step 3: The Body

Switch to a larger needle to make the main body of the hat. I am using US6/4mm.

  • Round 1: *K1 P3 C6F P3 K1 P3 K6 P3*, repeat until the end of the round
  • Round 2-3: *K1 P3 K6 P3*, repeat until the end of the round
  • Round 4: *K1 P3 K6 P3 K1 P3 C6B P3*, repeat until the end of the round
  • Round 5-6: *K1 P3 K6 P3*, repeat until the end of the round

Now repeat the above 6 rounds until the hat reaches the desired length. On my hat, I repeated the pattern 5 times (30 rows total) to about 5.5” / 14cm. You can do more or less depending on the desired length of the hat.

Step 4: The Crown

Now that the hat has reached its final length, we need to work some rounds of decreases to nicely close up the top of the hat.

All of these rows are "repeat until the end of the round"

  • Round 1: *K1 P2TOG P1 C6F P1 P2TOG K1 P2TOG P1 K6 P2TOG P1*
  • Round 2-3: *K1 P2 K6 P2*
  • Round 4: *K1 P2TOG K6 P2TOG K P2TOG C6B P2TOG*
  • Round 5: *K1 P1 K6 P1*
  • Round 6: *K1 P1 SSK K2 K2TOG P1*
  • Round 7: *K1 P1 C4F P1 K1 P1 K4 P1*
  • Round 8: *K1 P1 K4 P1*
  • Round 9: *K1 P1 SSK K2TOG P1*
  • Round 10: *K1 P1 K2 P1*
  • Round 11: *K1 P1 K2TOG P1*
  • Round 12: *K2TOG K1 P1*
  • Round 13: *K2TOG P1*
  • Round 14: *K2TOG*

You should have 8 stitches left. Break yarn, thread it through your tapestry needle, run the yarn through the remaining stitches to sew the top closed. Weave in the ends and enjoy your new hat. 🏁

Step 5: Final Thoughts

I've shared my making process with you and now I have a 2 simple requests from the community.

  1. Make your own and share some pics please.
  2. I have hidden several mistakes in this Instructable. I challenge anyone to find the errors let me know where corrections are needed 😉.

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